Comparison of the didactic lecture with the simulation/model approach for the teaching of a novel perioperative ultrasound curriculum to anesthesiology residents

J Clin Anesth. 2014 Sep;26(6):443-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinane.2014.01.018. Epub 2014 Sep 4.


Study objective: To expose residents to two methods of education for point-of-care ultrasound, a traditional didactic lecture and a model/simulation-based lecture, which focus on concepts of cardiopulmonary function, volume status, and evaluation of severe thoracic/abdominal injuries; and to assess which method is more effective.

Design: Single-center, prospective, blinded trial.

Setting: University hospital.

Subjects: Anesthesiology residents who were assigned to an educational day during the two-month research study period.

Measurements: Residents were allocated to two groups to receive either a 90-minute, one-on-one didactic lecture or a 90-minute lecture in a simulation center, during which they practiced on a human model and simulation mannequin (normal pathology). Data points included a pre-lecture multiple-choice test, post-lecture multiple-choice test, and post-lecture, human model-based examination. Post-lecture tests were performed within three weeks of the lecture. An experienced sonographer who was blinded to the education modality graded the model-based skill assessment examinations. Participants completed a follow-up survey to assess the perceptions of the quality of their instruction between the two groups.

Main results: 20 residents completed the study. No differences were noted between the two groups in pre-lecture test scores (P = 0.97), but significantly higher scores for the model/simulation group occurred on both the post-lecture multiple choice (P = 0.038) and post-lecture model (P = 0.041) examinations. Follow-up resident surveys showed significantly higher scores in the model/simulation group regarding overall interest in perioperative ultrasound (P = 0.047) as well understanding of the physiologic concepts (P = 0.021).

Conclusions: A model/simulation-based based lecture series may be more effective in teaching the skills needed to perform a point-of-care ultrasound examination to anesthesiology residents.

Keywords: Anesthesiologists; Anesthesiology residency education; Point-of-care ultrasonography.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesiology / education*
  • California
  • Clinical Competence
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Manikins
  • Patient Simulation
  • Perioperative Care / standards*
  • Point-of-Care Systems / standards
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Teaching / methods
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / standards*